Many may think that the route to a role such as climate change adviser would be through environmental study.
David Hone begs to differ. Having been Shell’s Climate Change Advisor for 16 years, he believes the true benefit he brings to his unique role is a solid background in trading, shipping and the economics of the industry.
He now spends his time liaising and working with groups and individuals outside Shell on climate change, publishing his thoughts on the issue and feeding back learnings to his colleagues inside the company.
But he began his Shell career in 1980 as a chemical engineering graduate in a Shell refinery, attracted by the prospect of a global career. Then followed more roles in refining in Australia and the Netherlands, and a decade in trading and shipping in London, during which time he travelled extensively.
Knowledge and expertise
“I had to decide what to do with the expertise I’d built up,” says Hone. One job in particular caught his eye - Group Climate Change Adviser, a relatively new position that Shell created in 1998.
“In my interview, my soon-to-be boss was pleased to meet someone who had worked in the refining business and had a detailed knowledge of the energy markets and trading.”
Even then it was clear that the development of climate policy would involve markets and pricing, and present a real challenge to the incumbent businesses.